I had the afternoon off yesterday as it was Kerry and Is second anniversary. We went to see the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Dean Gallery. Bresson was a photographer who craved anonymity and would never stage photographs; instead he wanted what he famously called the “decisive moment”, when the click of the camera captures a moment of unexpected drama. He was brilliant at catching this decisive moment, illustrated perfectly in the photo to the left. He manages to get the shot when the guy has both feet off the ground above the puddle. The exhibition was good, it wasn’t just photos taken by Bresson. It had photos of him and other biographical photos and items to view. It was a little pricey at £5 but hey, it was a treat. Magnum have all the photos Bresson took whilst working for them online to browse (and buy). After the exhibition we dodged a torrential summer downpour and got expensive ready meals and fizzy blackberry wine from M&S for dinner. A great way to spend an afternoon off.
Update: Looks like Joe beat me to the Cartier exhibition 🙂
Last Sunday we had a “tourist day” with my parents, away from the shops. We went along to the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, unsurprisingly, in Bo’ness. My Dad is a bit of a train fan and I think I’ve still got some of it in my blood :). Of course, I wanted to a be a train driver when I was small. Not sure when that phase ended…
Anyway, we rode the train along the line to to Birkhill where the clay mine is. The mine was as good, possibly better than the train journey. There are miles of big tunnels to explore and we were given a tour around just a small section. Our family and especially my Dad as a Director of the NPHT have become quite the mine-tour connoisseurs and we all thought this one was a beauty. The guy who led us around knew his stuff and it was well laid-out and timed well. Just long enough to feel like you’re not getting ripped-off and not too long so you get bored. There’s a gallery up in the pictures section of the days sights. Taking photos underground is always tricky but I tried with a couple.
Kerry and I did a bit of the Make Poverty History march on Saturday and then mooched around the meadows for a bit, soaking up the atmosphere. It did feel good to part of something big, the amount of people involved was huge. When we got back to the Meadows (thinking we were the last to go around) there were still five huge queues of people waiting just to start off! I took lots of photos, which are available to view in pictures. We didn’t see any of the “trouble”. Although when we were waiting for the bus home, five police vans screamed past us towards Buccleuch street, probably something to do with this.
I’ve posted my photos from Rick & Rach’s wedding in the gallery for your viewing pleasure.
The gallery has been having a bit of a scrub lately. Using some mod-rewrite dark magic I’ve made the URLs much nicer and easier to read. Instead of having:
we now have:
A vast improvement!
The other main change is now when viewing a gallery the page is much simpler. Before I had things like: the image size, resolution, data and the filename. People won’t actually care about those things! All they want is to see all the images and maybe click on one to see a larger version. Working on customer facing e-commerce stuff has taught me a lot about removing barriers to navigation and generally making a users life easier. I figured it’s time I implemented some of it around here.
James, Alex and I have started up a collaborative blog spotting cool stuff in the satellite photos on google maps. Go take a look.
Update: Well, that was massively more successful than we initially thought. We’ve had over eight hundred submissions and apparently we are using up to much of the server’s resources. We’re currently relocating to a friendlier host.
Update, update: Woo-hoo, we’re back!